VOL. 8 | NO. 23 | Saturday, May 30, 2015
Downtown Memphis Pioneer Gene Carlisle Dies
By Bill Dries
Downtown developer Gene Carlisle has died.
Word of Carlisle’s death came Friday, May 29. He was 72.
The Carlisle Corp. he founded operates restaurants including Wendy’s and LYFE Kitchen brands.
Carlisle was a pioneer in Downtown’s rebirth with the Beale Street Landing of the late 1970s and early 1980s on the southeast corner of Beale Street and Riverside Drive.
Carlisle was also the original redeveloper of the Beale Street Entertainment District between Second and Fourth streets, but bowed out to devote his attention to the development closer to the river.
The site of Beale Street Landing became the foundation for Carlisle’s most ambitious project, One Beale, a $150 million mixed-use project that would add two new Riverside towers to the Memphis skyline.
The project was a victim of the national recession that began in 2008. But Carlisle waited out the downturn and last year revived the project.
In the interim, he and his company became the lead developer of the renovation of the Chisca Hotel into apartments, which have started to be leased.